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White House Budget Brings Big Fund Increases for Cyber

President Biden's budget plan proposes additional funding for cybersecurity-related spending, including $145 million for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to improve the agency's internal cybersecurity and analytical capabilities, and $245 million to enhance the security of clean energy technologies and the energy supply chain.


The plan also includes $63 million for the Justice Department's ability to pursue cyber threats, $115 million to help the Treasury Department strengthen enterprise cybersecurity, and $395 million for the Department of State's cyber and digital initiatives, with investment in supply chain security and enhancing cooperation on privacy and data sharing. The budget also includes funding to counter malign influence operations, including $400 million for countering China and $753 million for Ukraine, as well as a $200 million increase for the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) investment program.


The White House emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity in the basic functioning of the economy, the operation of critical infrastructure, the strength of democracy, and national security. The budget plan was released a week after the announcement of the National Cybersecurity Strategy, which seeks to shift the burden of managing cyber risk and take a more offensive approach to dealing with threat actors. Ilona Cohen, Chief Policy Officer at HackerOne and former OMB General Counsel, shared the importance of bipartisan alignment on cyber and zero-trust strategies to protect critical systems and data: "Although lawmakers looking toward the 2024 electoral cycle may seek ways to distinguish themselves from the other party, cybersecurity funding is one of the few areas where bipartisan cooperation is possible — and critical.

The President proposed increasing cybersecurity funding for federal civilian agencies by several hundred million dollars. These funds will prove vital to hiring a more skilled and diverse cybersecurity workforce, transitioning legacy systems to modern infrastructure, and enabling agencies to adopt a zero-trust architecture. These funding increases can establish effective use of cybersecurity standards to defend our critical infrastructure and improve national security.

I believe legislators can accomplish all of the above and encourage the adoption of best practices around vulnerability disclosure. Launching vulnerability disclosure programs and trusting ethical hackers is crucial for identifying the most critical vulnerabilities within our digital infrastructure and establishing more resilient systems.


In recognizing these steps necessary for protecting federal information systems and data, lawmakers can work together to prove that they are working in the best interest of all Americans."


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